Tag Archives: Burma

Can we help Burma? Another Rwanda Looming?

English: Burma (Myanmar) (dark green) / ASEAN ...
English: Burma (Myanmar) (dark green) / ASEAN (dark grey) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Greg Jenks — a Jesus Seminar Fellow who brought John Shelby Spong to the little city of Toowoomba where I once lived and worked (and met Spong) — has posted the following on Facebook: (I think it’s a form notice, but no matter. . . .)

Burma may turn into the next Rwanda unless we raise our voices and stop the racist attacks right now — will you join me?

Sign here:


Let’s also protest against those who are using the violence there to score points in their shallow anti-religion crusade:

To blame the killing on “religion” is simplistic and hides a far deeper and more complex problem. There are ethnic differences; local jobs are thought to be at stake; cultural differences are sharp and offensive to some; there is a new nationalist sentiment beginning to blossom in Burma; religious difference is easily identified for hostile targeting and becomes the scapegoat. read more »

Burma after Nargis: $$$ the junta DOES NOT need

The Burmese junta has just requested $11.5 billion for rebuilding after Cyclone Nargis.

On a recent Late Night Live interview Sean Turnell, Associate Professor at Macquarie University and co-founder of Burma Economic Watch, presented the following:

  1. The Burmese regime is “flush with funds” at the moment
  2. Over the last 5 years it is earning $150,000,000 US from exports of natural gas to Thailand
  3. It has $4 billion stashed away, none of which goes into the government’s public account
  4. The incoming money is recorded at the official exchange rate which is 200 times undervalued

The Burmese regime is thus deliberately starving the public account of funds

The podcast for this interview, which also includes input from Aung Zaw, an exiled Burmese journalist and editor of The Irrawaddy Magazine; and with Gary Woodward, former ambassador to Burma, is well worth a listen.

Guided by astrology? It also emerges in the LNL interview the possibility that the reason the military junta went ahead with their referendum on the constitution in the midst of the chaos was to follow through on the predictions of their astrologers that that was the most favourable day for it.

The Irrawaddy Magazine is also of special interest, with 2 of its current story headings about cyclone victims being forcibly evicted from their places of refuge and about poorly paid military looting in some of the cyclone areas.

Would it be too much to ask ?

Dear conservative affluents,

Would it be too much to ask the right people (those in flash Chevron business suits and expensive cars) very nicely if they would mind withdrawing, very politely of course, their financial support from the Burmese regime — at least until relatives of the missing and arrested have a chance to check on their welfare or arrange for timely funerals as the case may be, and even allow for social workers to assist those with signs of post-traumatic stress resulting from events in recent weeks?

I fully understand that these right oil CEO people do have a priority by law to put their shareholders’ interests first, and they might grumble a bit if there was a dip in the prices of their assets. But with a bit of good-will I am sure at least a few could be persuaded at special meetings to go along with this — and the rest could surely come to some arrangement with certain legislators and executives to perhaps allow any losses to be offset by special tax benefits.

With arrangements like this it would spare me the discomfort of having to read articles like Cindy Sheehan’s here and the Amy Goodman one that she refers to here.

Hoping something can be done to make life a little more comfortable for us all.


P.S. It might also help end my constant dreams that I am living among French aristocracy in July 13, 1789 and France is the whole world this time.

Psychology of people under Burmese dictatorship

Yet one more classic on ABC Radio National’s All in the Mind series with Natasha Mitchell:

See Burma: ‘I resist in my Mind only’ — Podcast and live-streaming now available; transcript online soon.

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